Thornton’s Budgens – The First Ever British Supermarket with Plastic-free Zones

When it comes to saving the world, we should all take a note our of Thornton’s Budgens book and make every shopping experience plastic free. When you shop at the British supermarket Thornton’s Budgens, you will be surprised just how much one supermarket cares about the world. In every corner of the supermarket Thornton’s Budgens has replaced its plastic packaging with ingenious eco-friendly alternatives.

Thornton’s Budgens is the first in the UK to set the new achievable standard for plastic-free packaging and now every store needs to get on board. Located in Camden’s Belsize Park, Thornton’s Budgens is the first ever British supermarket to offer more than 1700 products enclosed in plastic-free packaging. Rather than using plastic, the store owner has decided to use eco-friendly alternatives such as Beechwood nets, pulp, and metal to wrap their goods. Other big retailers had claimed that it would take at least 10 years to create real plastic-free packaging, yet Thornton’s Budgens has created plastic-free packaging in just 10 weeks.

Thornton’s Budgens is the second supermarket in the world to implement a plastic-free zone in its store. The first supermarket to begin packaging some of its products in plastic alternatives was the Ekoplaza supermarket in Holland which created a plastic-free aisle in February 2019, attracting and inspiring many other environmental advocates from different parts of the world.

The store hopes that other large stores in the UK like Sainsbury, Tesco, and others will follow suit and take up the challenge to reduce plastic waste. If supermarkets start using plastic-free packaging, they are not just helping themselves and their locals, but are working towards making the planet a healthier one. As well as saving big money from taxes on so-called “virgin” plastics (plastics with less than 30 percent recyclable materials) they are helping the world reduce what ends up in local rivers and the oceans and keeping the public conscious of unnecessary plastic use and its consequences.

Thornton’s Budgens calls itself the “community supermarket that really cares.” Today, you will see that many of the items at the Thornton’s Budgens supermarket are no longer wrapped in ordinary plastic materials at all.

So is plastic alternative wrapping practical and safe for all foods? Yes. At Thornton’s Budgens, the plastic packaging of their meat and poultry has even been replaced with plant-based paper bags and the store is also now planning to develop new wax packaging for its 300 different cheeses. Their fruits and vegetables are no longer wrapped in plastic and are displayed in huge baskets and wooden boxes. “Cut plastic out” signage is placed above products reminding people of the importance of recycling. Thornton’s Budgens believes that this move can make a huge impact on waste and pollution from single-use plastic.

The use of disposable plastic is a prevalent issue everywhere in the world today. If we start recycling in our own little way today, perhaps we could cut plastic accumulation in the oceans by 5 percent per year before the world succumbs to the fast growing amount plastic waste filling our oceans in the next 10 years.